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Altered States of Consciousness Hypnosis CP Psychology Mrs. Bradley.

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1 Altered States of Consciousness Hypnosis CP Psychology Mrs. Bradley

2 What is Hypnosis? The views of what hypnosis is have differentiated throughout history and into current times. Is it a trance? Is it a cure for illnesses? Is it related to sleep and dreaming? Is it a separate and unique state of awareness?

3 Fact or Fiction? While under hypnosis, a hypnotist can control your actions and make you do things against your will.

4 Fiction Full blown hypnosis is something that the subject must willingly participate in. If you are unwilling to be hypnotized, you won’t be. However, this does not mean that you are not suggestible both during hypnosis and outside of hypnotic experiences.

5 Fact or Fiction? Hypnosis reliably improves the accuracy of memories and allows the subject to extract memories that have been previously inaccessible.

6 Fiction Hypnosis usually embellishes memories that we already have. Some people even form new, false memories under hypnosis. Thus, information extracted during hypnosis is often unreliable. It is not admissible evidence in court either.

7 Fact or Fiction? Hypnosis depends primarily on the skill of the hypnotist.

8 Fiction The subject’s willingness to be hypnotized is much more important for the outcome than the hypnotist’s skill.

9 What is hypnosis? Hypnosis: an interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts or behaviors will spontaneously occur.

10 Two steps Hypnotic Induction: An introduction to hypnosis during which the subject is guided to relax, concentrate and focus attention on particular things. Hypnotic Suggestion: The process by which the subject is guided through changes in experience.

11 What is a Hypnotic Induction ? An introduction to hypnosis in which the subject is guided through suggestion to relax, concentrate, and/or to focus his or her attention on some particular thing. Some hypnotists believe the purpose of the induction is to induce an altered state of consciousness. Other hypnotists believe the induction is a social cue that prompts the subject to engage in hypnotic behaviors.

12 What is a Hypnotic Suggestion ? The subject is guided to undergo changes in experience. Types of Hypnotic Suggestions: Ideomotor Suggestions – experience a motor movement. Challenge Suggestions – subject is told he or she will not be able to do some particular thing and then is asked to perform the prohibited behavior. Cognitive Suggestions – experience changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts or feelings.

13 Two thoughts on hypnosis… Some psychologists believe that during hypnosis the subject enters an altered state of consciousness. Others believe that hypnosis is a social phenomenon. The subject engages in hypnotic behavior because he feels that he should or is expected to.

14 Suggestibility (Hypnotic Ability) Everyone is at least somewhat suggestible under the right circumstances. The degree of suggestibility is a good indicator of how willing and able an individual is to respond to hypnotic induction.

15 Theories of Hypnosis Social Influence Theory: Hypnosis is something the people engage in because of social cues. Divided Consciousness: Hypnosis helps the subject to divide their conscious attention. Biopsychosocial Approach: Hypnosis results from a combination of subconscious brain activity, social cues and psychological influences.

16 Hypnosis as Medicine Hypnosis is very helpful for some people with certain conditions. Hypnosis is often helpful for treating alcoholism, skin conditions, drug addiction and smoking addiction. ~50% of the population experiences some pain relief when hypnotized. ~10% of the population can be so deeply hypnotized that they can undergo moderate surgery without anesthetic.

17 A. Defining Hypnosis Hypnosis is a procedure involving cognitive processes (like imagination) in which a subject is guided by a hypnotist to respond to suggestions for changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Sometimes, people are trained in self-hypnosis, in which they learn to guide themselves through a hypnotic procedure. Psychologists hold a wide variety of opinions on how to define hypnosis and on how hypnosis works.

18 III. Important Theories of Hypnotic Responding A. Psychoanalytic Approach B. Neodissociation Approach C. Socio-Cognitive Approach D. Transpersonal Approach

19 A. Psychoanalytic Approach: Freud’s Model of Hypnosis Freud initially utilized hypnosis to help remove psychosomatic symptoms from patients who suffered from what we would now call a somatoform disorder. These patients suffered from medical complaints like seizures, muscular spasms, and paralysis of their limbs that was transient and/or was not thought to be the entirely the result of a general medical condition. Freud learned that he could temporarily or permanently reduce many of these symptoms using direct hypnotic suggestions for the symptoms to be reversed. (e.g.,: “Your arm is calm again and will no longer spasm.”) Freud also believed that Hypnosis allowed him access to memories within the patient’s unconscious mind which had been previously repressed. Eventually, Freud began using free association instead of hypnosis as a way of accessing the unconscious.

20 B. Neodissociation The Hidden Observer Experiments Discovered in highly hypnotizable subjects during dissociative tasks such as hypnotic deafness and hypnotic pain analgesia. If queried, some subjects could nevertheless give realistic accounts of the dissociated experience as if a hidden observer was present within the person.

21 Conclusion Once associated with fringe psychology and the supernatural, hypnosis is now accepted as the valid subject of scientific research and as a useful clinical tool. Psychologists hold a wide variety of opinions on how to define hypnosis and on how hypnosis works. Research strongly suggests that hypnotic suggestibility is a trait that accounts for a portion of how much or how little people respond to hypnosis. However, research strongly indicates that the vast majority of people can benefit from hypnosis interventions. Research indicates that hypnosis is very effective for treating a wide range of clinical problems and symptoms, including pain, anxiety, depression, obesity, and smoking.

22 Instructions for Chevreul Pendulum Demonstration 1. Obtain scissors, string, and ½ inch washers at a hardware store. 2. At the beginning of the presentation, distribute these materials to the class. Have students cut a 6-inch length of string and tie it to the washer. 3. Explain that you will be doing a demonstration in which students will have an opportunity to experience an imaginative suggestion. 4. Have students place their right elbow on their right thigh and hold the string between their right thumb and index finger so the washer is suspended beneath. 5. Have students hold their hand as still as possible. 6. Ask students to imagine that the washer is beginning to move from left to right. Continue repeating the suggestion until some washers begin to move. There will be a range of responses. Some students will show no response at all. Others will find that their washer moves quite a bit. 7. Cancel the suggestion by telling students their hands are back to normal. 8. Ask students what this has to do with what you were just discussing. 9. This should lead naturally to the next topic – hypnotic suggestibility.

23 C. The Sociocognitive Approach Contends that the principles of social psychology explain behavior during hypnosis. Not a single theory, but a group of theories. Examples: Role Theory – people naturally adopt the role behaviors of a hypnotized person. Response Expectancy Theory – hypnotic suggestions alter expectations for nonvolitional outcomes (e.g., pain). Such expectations, in turn, then contribute to the experience of those outcomes (Kirsch, 1990).

24 B. Neodissociation Hilgard’s Neodissociation theory These dissociations were evidence of separate cognitive subsystems that were operating during the experiment. “The concept of a totally unified consciousness is an attractive one, but does not hold up under examination.” Ernest R. Hilgard (1994)

25 Modern Views of Hypnosis Ernest Hilgard, a pioneer in the scientific study of hypnosis, supported the position that hypnosis is an altered psychological state. His descriptions of hypnosis included increased susceptibility to suggestion, involuntary performance of behavior, improvements in recall, increasing intensity of visual imagination, dissociation, and analgesia. These ideas that hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness, different from both waking and sleep, have never been questioned.

26 Nicholas Spanos Nicholas Spanos ( ) Ph.D., professor of psychology at Carlten University in Ottawa Canada. Spanos, a social cognitive psychologist, was not convinced by previous views of hypnosis and exposed it to scientific scrutiny. He theorized that the behaviors during hypnosis were actually normal, voluntary abilities of humans, and not an altered state of consciousness.

27 Spanos 2 Aspects Spanos had two aspects as to why people believe that hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness: 1. The way the suggestion is worded determines whether the behavior is voluntary or involuntary. 2.Hypnosis rituals creates expectations in how the subjects should behave based on how they think they are supposed to behave.

28 Higard’s Research It was believed that hypnosis caused people to become insensitive to pain. Hilgard, testing these beliefs, gave subjects hypnotic and waking training in analgesia (pain reduction). Subjects knew they were going to be tested for pain in a waking state first, and then again in the hypnotic state. The subjects reported significantly less cold pressure pain during hypnosis. Conclusion: Hilgard believed that during hypnosis people could dissociate pain from awareness.

29 Spanos Rejecting Hilgard Spanos believed that these subjects, “have a strong investment in presenting themselves in the experimental setting as good hypnotic subjects.”

30 Experiment 3: Creation of Expectations Spanos conducted the same experiment as Hilgard concerning pain EXCEPT for one major difference: Group 1. subjects were told that they would use waking analgesia techniques before being tested using hypnotic pain–reduction methods. Group2. subjects were NOT told of the later hypnotic test. Results: Group 1. reported more pain during the waking state than the hypnotic state. Group 2. maintained a constant threshold for pain. Conclusion: The group that expected hypnosis, according to Spanos, left room for improvement.

31 Key Points Spanos’s goal wasn’t to prove that hypnosis does not exist. He wanted to prove that hypnotic behaviors are the result of highly motivated, goal-directed social behavior, not an altered state of consciousness. Spanos demonstrated that many of the key aspects of hypnosis can be explained in less mysterious and more straightforward ways than being under a hypnotic trance. However, it is still unknown whether or not hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness. It is still used and seen as no more effective than other methods of treatment for smoking, abusing alcohol, improving memory, and losing weight.

32 Spanos’s Influence on Psychology Spanos challenged views of hypnosis that had been undisputed for nearly 200 years. He was the first person to question the validity of hypnosis as an altered state of consciousness by scientifically conducting experiments. His cognitive behavioral approach to the phenomena of hypnosis has opened the door to further research.


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